Six kidnapped foreign sailors freed in Nigeria

The sailors were kidnapped off Nigeria’s coastline in Bayelsa State nine days ago.

Six foreign sailors, kidnapped off Nigeria’s coastline in Bayelsa State, have been freed unharmed by pirates after nine days in captivity.

One Russian, three Ukrainian and two Indian sailors were taken when gunmen stormed the Armada Tuah, owned by Nigerian firm, Century Group, 40 miles off the coast of Bayelsa State on February 17.

The pirates demanded a ransom of N200 million, but Bayelsa Police Commissioner, Kingsley Omire, told Reuters news agency no money was paid for their release.

Piracy offshore of Nigeria and other countries in West Africa’s oil-rich Gulf of Guinea is on the increase, tailing the sea way off Somalia in terms of the risk of pirate attacks, which drives up shipping insurance costs.

The International Maritime Bureau, a branch of the International Chamber of Commerce funded by ship owners, has categorised the Gulf of Guinea, which includes the waters off Benin, Nigeria and Togo as an emerging piracy hub.

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